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Archive for October, 2007

Credit Card Payments

Posted October 26, 2007 By Admin

EDITED TO ADD:  Looks like the NAB have fixed their gateway problems – credit card payments seem to be going through normally now.  As always, if you have any queries or problems, just let us know.

Just received an email from our bank notifying us that credit card payments through the National Australia Bank gateway are currently experiencing problems.  If you are trying to pay by credit card (Visa or Mastercard), you will be redirected back to our website so you can contact us directly.

We apologise for this inconvenience – the bank assures us that the problem is being addressed urgently so that the secure internet payment gateway is up and running as soon as possible.  In the meantime, please feel free to use PayPal, direct bank deposit or contact us directly for manual credit card payments.

cheers from Andrew and Leah Lane (www.aussiesapphire.com.au)

Ruby Mining in Burma

Posted October 18, 2007 By AussieSapphire

The recent unrest in Burma has again highlighted the problems in that country.  The gem trade has been implicated in this by financially supporting the military junta’s repressive regime leading to calls for boycotts on rubies in particular from Burma.

Of course, these things are never black and white.  Calls for a boycott on goods (including gems) from Burma may hurt those in power but inevitable hurt the people more where an already difficult life is made more difficult from loss of income and work. 

Newspaper articles are useful for raising awareness but to read an interesting discussion on the subject by those who have extensive knowledge of the gem trade in Burma, we recommend this Gemology Online thread.  It does bring a little balance back into the topic.

Richard Hughes and Brian Leber wrote an article which pre-dates the current crisis but is still extremely relevant – Banned! Burmese Gems in the Crossfire.

Of course, the long-term human rights abuses in Burma are condemned by concerned people everywhere.  While monks and protestors for democracy are being arrested or shot, other issues are of lower priority.  It should be mentioned though that serious environmental damage is being caused by uncontrolled mining and logging for timber.  A little difficult to bring this to the top of the priority list while people are suffering but those taking a long term view would appreciate that an environment damaged beyond repair will seriously affect the future of the Burmese people.

An article highlighting this issue can be read at the Birma News website – In Myanmar, Rivers, Forest Suffer.   I recommend this blog for those wishing to learn more about the struggle for democracy in Burma/Myanmar from those directly involved.

One thing from all the reading is while there is no easy answer to any of these problems, consistent consumer pressure will help to slowly clean up the gem trade.  Our aim is to see miners who operate responsibly be rewarded for their efforts by being able to compete on a more level footing with higher prices also assisting those miners struggling for survival in countries such as Burma.  Consumers who buy on price alone dont help anyone in the industry but just encourage the status quo.

Leah and Andrew Lane (www.aussiesapphire.com.au)

Not Much Sapphire Rough Left

Posted October 13, 2007 By AussieSapphire

Buyers of rough may notice that we do not have much sapphire rough left online.  Mining activity has been ramped up to catch up on some back orders so fresh rough will be listed shortly.  Sapphire rough generally (worldwide) appears to be in short supply with better demand and higher trade prices lately.  This has meant we dont have a lot in stock at the moment until we get the latest lot of production graded.

Andrew will be in Thailand next week selling but we hope to get some rough listed on his return.  Keep an eye on this blog for announcements of newly listed rough.

Cheers from Andrew and Leah (Aussie Sapphire)

Back to work

Posted October 7, 2007 By AussieSapphire



After a refreshing week at the beach, we have now returned to work so order processing and email response time should be back to normal. 

Had to cut the break short by a couple of days due to the pile-up of jobs waiting for us back at the office but are feeling nicely rested and rejuvenated. 

Photo at left shows the boys after a swim at Iluka – our favourite holiday spot.

No rest for the wicked though: a few days mining this week before Andrew heads off back to Thailand again for a week or so.  His mobile will be redirected back to the office from about October 15th to the 22nd but the rest of the team will be working so feel free to contact us anytime.

Cheers for now from Andrew and Leah (Aussie Sapphire)

Note – we should have now replied to all enquiries received while we were away.  If you did not receive a reply, please email us again as it may have slipped through the net.